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tv   America Tonight  Al Jazeera America  October 28, 2013 9:00pm-10:01pm EDT

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welcome to "al jazeera america." i'm john seigenthaler in new york, and here are the top stories. a ruling strikes down new abortion restrictions in texas. a federal judge rules the regulations unreasonably restrict a woman's access to abortion clinics. lawyers for providers argued the law would shut down about a third of the clinics that provide abortion. spain is the latest american ally investigating reports that the nsa spied on millions in that country's citizens. the european delegation is in washington right now investigating those allegations including reports that the phone of the german chancellor, angela merkel, was tapped as well. a british man has been charged with hacking u.s. army
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and nasa computers and stealing employee information. he was arrested friday in london, but he's free on bail until february. right now no one else has been charged. those are the headlines at this hour. i'm john seigenthaler. "america tonight" is up next on al jazeera. i'll be back here at 11:00 eastern and 8:00 out west. get the latest news on we'll sue back here later. on "america tonight," we begin our in-death look at sex crimes on campus with a startling revelation about the attackers and just how frequently women students become victims.
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>> these serial offenders had on average 14 victims. also tonight, remembering sandy. a superstorm that washed away the innocence of the jersey shore. >> my dad was looking out the window at the firemen. they're bringing on the moves, the heat and the age of a timeless art. geed evening. i'm joie chen. thanks for being with us. tonight we begin our week-long focus on sexual assault on campus and the impact on victims. what we found in weeks of
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reports at a variety of college campuses is the repeated belief campus rape is the result of miscommunication or things getting out of hand. allegations that amount to murky he said/she said that are impossible for schools and law enforcement to adjudicate. the reality is that can be a very mistaken assumption. rape is rape not a misunderstanding. sometimes by students who prey on intoxicated fellow students, and often get away with it. our report begins with correspondent chris bury. obsession dental college in los angeles private and pricey is known for its commitment to social justice. so it is even more striking that this campus has reports of rape and sexual assault, much of it allegedly committed by repeat offenders. >> i ended up walking back to his place with him. once we were there, he raped me.
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>> reporter: in the shadows two students who asked us to hide their faces told us they were raped not by strangers but by men hiding in plain sight. their fellow students. >> you clearly said no? >> yes. >> and he kept forcing himself on you? >> yes. >> this woman, now a junior, says she was raped in her first year. her outrage group after learning the college had disciplined her attacker. >> months before he was sanctioned for sexual assault. it was not serious enough he was removed from campus. >> i think it involved writing a paper of some kind, some kind of like research reflection. >> he wasn't suspended? >> no. >> he wasn't expelled? >> no. >> serial rape is the norm on college campuses. >> here at occidental?
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>> here we have numerous cases with three or four women coming forward and alleging the same man has sexually rained or assaulted them. >> she's been teaching at occidental for several years along with danielle dirks. they're activists for sexual assault victims. they say didn't intend to do so, but students started to come to them and pouring their hearts out. >> i've been here at occi since 2011. over that time i've talked with i would say dozens of young men and women who have been raped, sexually assaulted and batters, intimidated, cyber-bullied, all of these things. >> last april they fileded a federal complaint with the department of education. in it, 42 occidental students allege they were raped or sexually assaulted since 2009. >> it has been open season on the female students at occidental. >> the say day gloria allred
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threatened a civil the suit. students came forward with new accusations that the college treated assailants far too lightly. >> the person that rapped me was not responsible for raping three women, yet he's aallowed to come back. in may he shook the hands of college's president and received his diploma. i wish i had not been discouraged by a dean for reporting my rape. >> another woman also a junior told us she was raped last year by a repeat offender after a campus dance. >> there was drinking involved, and i ended up being taken home by someone that i actually don't remember being taken home by. i ended up having sexual relations with him without my knowing. i didn't remember it in the morning. >> did you report this? >> i didn't report it for two months. >> did this guy assault other
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women? >> yes. we know that he has been found guilty of sexually assaulting another woman. i think what's most troubling about this woman's rape is had he been expelled and kicked off the campus the first time he was found responsible for sexual assault, her rape simply would not have happened. >> such troubling stories of sexual predators committing multiple assaults are actually not all that unusual. researchers telled us the overwhelming majority of rapes on college campuses are committed by repeat offenders. >> each of the serial offenders had on average 14 victims. >> clinical psychologist david lesak travels the country training prosecutors and police on sex offenders. his research revealed a fact. >> the vast majority on college
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campuses are by serial offenders. >> in his study in 2002 he asked 2,000 male students in massachusetts at a college about their sex life. 6% said their encounters in a way that meant the legal definition of rape, meaning they had sexual intercourse without the consent of the woman, often using force or alcohol. of that group a majority had assaulted multiple women. >> most serial offenders were prolific, so the average number of rapes for each serial offenders was six. >> serial rapists? >> these are the serial rapists, yes. >> even more disturbing he found the serial rapists admitted deliberately taking advantage of vulnerable women. they were cold and calculations. >> serious rapists have perfected techniques and perfected ways of identifying who on campus, for example, are most vulnerable and the individuals to target as they call them to prey on. >> to prove his point he showed us a video based on the
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interview conducted at duke university and this is the exact words of the stunds describing how he invited a freshman girl to a fraternity party. >> the minute she walked into the door of the party she was on her. she was really good-looking too. we started to drink together and i could tell she was nervous. she was drinking it so fast. >> what was she drinking? >> the punch we made, the usually thing. >> what does that exchange tell you? >> well it's i think.
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they're fwrooming mem inviting them to the party invitation. it's a accept justice, and they prepared it as a party. >> it doesn't mean rape. >> well, if you give somebody a drink, but whether you drink you get very intoxicated and you bring the drink off and more intoxicated. you say, now they're so intoxicated they can barely stand. as you walk them up the stairs. >> another drink and sat her down on a bed. i didn't expect to get into it right away. i just offered it to him and she passed out. >> what happened? >> i [ bleep ] her. >> did you lean on her? >> i had my hand across her chest. >> when you hear this, what does it tell you? >> he's describing more violence than you see in many rapes. >> is this a misunderstanding? >> this is not a
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misunderstanding? >> they're a common refrain among the students at occidental that claim they were assaulted. when you look back, do you feel you had been set up or plied with liquor? >> absolutely. i think he probably scanned the room, saw someone who was clearly intoxicated and started to strike up a conversation with them and continued to provide me with drinks. >> the president of occidental college declined our repeated requests for an on-camera ent interview and cite a change in policy with a professional advocate to help students that report rape and other sex crimes. >> occidental has created a culture where victims are afraid to come forward and perpetrators know they can get away from it. >> five months after this explosive press conference, occidental quietly settled with ten students keeping the
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financial details confidential. but the professors that filed a federal complaint say the college has not established a clear, bright line involving sex between students. >> i think the clearest definition of consent is verbal consent. it's affirm active, willing, active, enthusiastic yes. yes means yes should be the campaign slogan for consent on college campuses. >> and researcher david lesak believes colleging like occidental are at a critical cross roads. >> why way are they going? the route of the catholic church or do better? are they going to show that they can respond to this with honesty and with a commitment to do the right thing? >> a former top official told us that colleges like occidental don't have the expertise to investigate sex crimes that very often con found police and prosecutor
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prosecutors. the voices suggest far too often sexual predators on campus get away with it, and even more troubling the research suggests they do it again and again. >> chris bury tells us that one of the women at that report did choose to come forward and after a lengthy proceeding her assailant has been expelled. he is, however, appealing. joining us here is steve thompson on central michigan university who is a sexual aggression services coordinator. you watch these things on all campuses. it really isn't just occidental or any particular campus. it's happening everywhere. >> absolutely. it's not unique to that campus but all campuses in our culture. they say approximately 1 in 4 women will be the victim of a sexual assault sometime in their life. even in college or walking around washington, d.c. women are preyed on as well. >> why, when a university is
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clear, when they have expelled a student and where they believe answer individual was an tacker. you heard these new women who knew they're assailant has attacked another woman. why don't they act more quickly? wouldn't they want to act quickly to remove somebody from campus? >> one would think so. academia is behind the times a lot. i think they still follow this base, well, they were drinking. it's miscommunication. they don't realize that individuals that prey upon people they know, it's a planned act. it's a planned act of power and control. they know where they're going to do. they know how they're going to do. they know exactly who they're going to do it to. it's a planned active conquest. universities a lot of time don't want to believe that people rape, stalk, beat partners and harass because they doggone well want to. behavior is a function of choice. we as a human being, you have to
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be tired out of the get out of jail free. i was drinking. he's a predator preying upon somebody. >> let's talk about who that is. they have identified and you have been able to identify a particular profile of the victim. >> in 1995 we called it a nice guy, because that's how survivors referred to him. whether the survivors is male or feel male, he was such a nice guy. i met him at the bar. i met him working out. he's a nice guy. >> met him at a campus party and this class and in the library. >> typically a couple years older than the target. the number one target is females that are freshman within the first eight to ten weeks of college experience. they don't have roommates or support and they're away from home. they're having a hard time balancing this new-found freedom with security. this guy is such a nice guy. >> he's willing to give them a drink and show them a good time at the party. >> the alcohol thing is something that people don't
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realize. he uses alcohol and drugs as a tool against the victims. en if he can get one drink in this person and get a second and third and fourth it goes up. the ability to control themselves once they get in the alcohol goes down. they select a target and they think they can succeed with and get close and feed them alcohol and then they need to separate them from the herd. once they separate them from the herd, they take advantage of that. >> that's the zebra you have to your shoe. >> i think it's very important. people need to realize that once this nice guy has got a pirn to the point where they have this control, you could be a physical blackout and can't get out of that. it's those of us that are around, the bystanders and the zebra watches one of its own eaten, glad it's not me. people are the same way. if you stood up and know what it's about and get involved, we can do a lot to help with us. >> steve thafrp son, thank you very much.
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an associate professor at central michigan university. appreciate your insight. we're going to continue our focus on sex crimes on campus tomorrow night, and fits been a while since you were in college, you may be stunned by our next report. >> there's nights where we go out and wake up and we are with a girl and we don't remember anything from the night before. we ask ourselves, whoa, did i have sex with her? it's nothing like that. we enjoy partying. we enjoy having a good time. that's how you meet new people, you know? >> this weekend is getting out a glass, going to the hawk, getting a burger, drinking, go home, getting ready, drinking some more, going out and getting wasted. everyone is just having so much fun. everyone is just so drunk. it's the most carefree place in the world. >> one of my biggest fears is waking up and not remembering [ bleep ] and being informed i made a horrible life choice.
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if she came at me, i don't know who the [ bleep ] you are, i don't know what i'd do. it's terrifying. i think all of our friends, that's one of our biggest fears. >> there's a level of danger, but we have such great guy friends here, they respect us. they have a level of respect. >> this is my girlfriend. she's so [ bleep ]. >> incredible. sex crimes on campus is the focus of our reporting throughout this week here on "america tonight." back in a moment.
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it was a bold act of road rage. over the weekend dozens of women staged an unusual protest. they drove. it might not sound like much of a protest, but the more than 60 women were at the wheel drives in saudi arabia where there's an unwritten ban against female drivers. as part of their campaign, the women post videos of themselves online. it's a bit of a repeat here. women proe tested the same way in the kingdom 23 years ago. just as before, there were arrests and nothing has changed. while there have been some changes, opponents warn if the ban on driving by women is
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dropped, it would have a damaging effect on saudi society. arrests have been deterred the women involved. this time, though, some have already said they're going to drive again joining us by skype is samia. she took part in the demonstration, and you were arrested. tell me what happened. >> we were detained. i went for what i hoped would be an uneventful drive in support of people that have been making sacrifices in doing this because i believe this is something that needs to be done and just normal. unfortunately, i was followed and apprehended by some undercover police or officers, and then shortly thereafter detained in my car. >> you said in your car. what did they say? i want to clarify, though, you are a naturalized saudi citizen,
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so you learned to drive outside the kingdom, you're licensed outside the kingdom. >> yes. i have a driver's license. i've been driving since i was 15 and i'm 60 now. >> i'm sure your driving skills weren't in question here. when the officers detained, what did they want you to do? what was the demand of you? >> tuly, by the time they actually stopped me, i had gotten out of the front seat and gotten into the back seat and my driver was there. but they had spotted me. they were very polite. they asked me for my i.d., and i gave them my driver's license. they asked for my driver's license, and i gave them my driver's license. they basically took our documents and asked us to follow them to the police station. i was very grateful there was another woman also detained, so i was not completely alone. i was not completely alone because i had on skype with a
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journalist from the netherlands. we got to the station, and they basically told us that we did sign a declaration. they wanted to know who my guardian was. >> that's a male guardian. we have to explain to our viewers in the usz. that's your father or husband. >> it's not just a male guardian. it's your -- you have one guardian, yes. and so i have nobody else in this country that would qualify for that position. i ntszed that i did not want to have my guardian have anything to do with it. i took responsibility for my actions, and i wanted to sign for my actions. in the end they actually allowed me to do that. they did have my estranged husband come in, but they allowed me to leave. i wasn't released into his custody or anything like that. >> just a quick last slot for those of us in the united states
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who may not understand this. it's not just about driving itself. there are a lot of other limitations on women, things they're not allowed to do without the guardianship or sponsorship of a man? >> it's primarily the guardianship. the guardianship is the crux of the problem. it is an archaic, unislamic, humiliating position to be in to not be considered an adult and not a full human being. >> you cannot bank. you cannot have a business yourself. there are a number of limitations. >> that's not true. you can bank and have a business. you can't have certain surgeries or travel outside of the country. so it's enough. it's significant enough, and it's when it comes down to divorce or separation and having to have somebody who is in charge of those other affairs. that is a problem. >> wow. it's quite striking to see, and it is interesting that you bring this with the women who joined you on the roads to the
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attention of the world. we appreciate you being with us. thanks for joining us today. >> thank you. >> and as we continue to consider the role of women in the world both at the wheel and in positions of authority, we note an upcoming documentary called "speed sisters." it also puts women at the wheel. amber fares joins us on skype. you're part of a movement supporting women drivers, and your drivers are quite conscious of the women in saudi arabia and even this protest? >> yes, for sure. we've all been aware of the campaign from the very start. it was something that i talked to the team about. we decided that we really wanted to do something to contribute. the speed sisters have received international attention, and we wanted to use that reach to create awareness to the campaign and to let the women inside of saudi arabia to support them. we encourage people in our network that follow us on
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twitter and facebook to take pictures of themselves with messages of support. then we put them on facebook and twitter and whatnot. i think some of them did actually get to the women in saudi arabia themselves. >> you know, we're looking at video, the film itself, and we see the incredible driving of the speed sisters. what is the impression of the world that you tell them that you're doing this film? >> yeah. you know, really one of the first reactions i get when people hear i'm doing a film about race car drivers and are they allowed to drive that? we need to keep in mind that saudi arabia does not represent the middle east. the middle east is much more diverse than that. i found that in palestine men have been extremely supportive of women racing in the speed sisters themselves and not like the rest of the world. women driving and really a
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non-issue in countries besides saudi arabia. at the end of the day, this is a fight for equal rights, and it's not a stretch to see how palestinians living under a military occupation and fighting for their faith and human rights would support women in saudi arabia would fighting or equal rights. >> we see the driving. what's the story behind them? >> it's about the lives of these women and sort of what it takes to sort of break outside of that box and live the life that you really want to live. >> very high-speed life. will we see them in other places around the world, or are they going to be racing on other circuits as well? >> i hope so. that's their dream, to race internationally. hopefully with this film we'll be able to help them do that. >> amber fares, filmmaker.
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"speed sisters" is her film. thank you for being with us. a bitter anniversary on the eastern seaboard. we will remember the horrible night when sandy came ashore and visit the communities still shaken by the storm.
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now a snapshot of stories making headlines on "america tonight." the doctor convicted of overdosing and killing michael jackson is out of jail. he was released after midnight after serving half his sentence. a recent ruling on overcrowded prisons in california helped him win an early release. access denied for chemical weapo weapons inspectors in syria. they said security concerns are stalling its team. two weapons sites out of 23 remain unchecked. at least 13 people have died in what's being called the worth storm to hit western europe in a decade. winds up to 99 miles per hour barrelled through cutting power,
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splitting trees and leaving hundreds of thousands without power. one year after superstorm sandy swallowed homes and communities along the jersey shore, rebuilding is under way. some beachfront towns attempted a valiant comeback for this summer, but for many the road back is a long and difficult one. al jazeera sat down with win resilient group, kids that survived the storm. >> we were right by the beach. whether the water came in, it was like a tsunami coming through the house. >> the water came so fast, we had to get out of there. >> i was like are we going to lose our lives? >> i'm john. >> i'm courteney. >> i'm naomi. >> i'm kevin and i'm 15 years old. >> reporter: seven children from five families who all suffered through superstorm sandy when it het staten island one year ago. >> my dad was screaming for help out the window the athe firemen. we were waiting and waiting and
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my lizard and bird was in a box, my dog was all ready, and they never came. >> i was in a hotel. that night my brother and father had stayed home. so we couldn't get in touch with them. so we thought they had died. i was really sad. >> when the storm passed, what did you think the next day? >> that i was safe at the beach. >> and that's all that mattered? >> everyone was okay, thank god, but, yeah, like, we didn't expect this to happen at all. >> i didn't really care about anything else like my house and stuff. i was happy to be alive at that point. >> reporter: alive, yes, but their lives were turned upside-down. >> chairs got into places we didn't think was possible. >> i felt sad because all my
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toys were gone. >> for most of them rebuilding was rough. >> it seems like it takes forever to get the house rebuilt. we have to stay in an apartment for six months that i hated. >> some had to grow up fast because everyone had to pitch in with the family recovery effort. >> when i say the word fema, do you have a good reaction or a bad reaction? >> a good reaction. >> both. >> both. >> they just stopped helping us. we need the help, but they just stopped. >> fema is not there to, like, help you the entire way. you're supposed to help yourself with their help. >> school helped some kids cope. >> my friends gave me supplies. >> so you like going to school? others felt less safe in school since a couple of classmates were insensitive. >> all the girls made fun of me. go home and wash your clothes, and i'm like i don't have a home to go home to. >> for those forced out of their homes, homework got harder. >> my grades were down a lot,
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because we were in a hotel with five people. it was hard to study. >> now a year later -- >> we're back in our houses, and just looking out for each other. >> we have food to eat. nothing else really matters. >> as grown-up as those perspectives seem, they're still kids that found fun along the way. >> whether we were cleaning up the first day, my cousin was outside. i shot him with the power washer. i didn't realize how powerful that was. >> a few even found a silver lining. >> i saw my toys, and it was like christmas. i was like, wait a second. it's july! >> resilient indeed. erica met the youngsters. the worries and pain of having to rebuild rest with the elders. the gotti family of staten island lost their home when sandy hit. two sons face the most
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terrifying nights of their lives. one son had to return home to save his brother. the family owns now a vacant lot. one year after sandy we reached them where their home once stood. >> on the opposite side of the street. it was protecting me from the water rushing off the road. when i turned the corner off the street is whether i realized, oh, my god, what am i going to do? i didn't have time to think. all i did was -- i said to myself, i got to jump out of this car now. there's no time. it's taking me further away, and i couldn't get back here. all i could think of was how -- how do i explain it? my mother and father, i couldn't get my brother out of the car. it gets me all choked up. i didn't want to fail. i knew i had to do something and get it done.
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he gave me a lot of courage and strength drawing off my brother. >> your father had sent you down there to look in on your brother, right? >> he sent me a text and said go home and help your brother. i didn't understand the word "help." take the garbage out maybe? i knew it was bad and my heart was racing. i got here as quickly as i could, and it worked out. we were there. we're still here. i remember driving here very fast on the opposite side of the street. when i turned the corner orr there i didn't have the car. the car left -- it was lifted by the water and threw me down the street where i had to jump out and pretty much swim to where my brother was. it still freaks me out, you know. sometimes it consumes me.
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what are you going to do? >> dennis, what do you think about your brother today? >> well, i wouldn't be here if he didn't come. that's for sure. seeing his face through my car window was a sight for sore eyes at that point. i couldn't get out of the car on my own at all at that point. >> you were trying to push the door open? >> yeah. i kind of froze when i could have probably got the door open, and it was seconds by the time the water was up the door and the engine stopped and then i couldn't push against all that water. there was just no way. then he rolled up. he was yelling at screaming at me to push. he was pulling and i was pushing. then i don't know. i still don't know, really, how, but somehow we managed to get the door open. he grabbed me by the collar, and
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he pretty much dragged me back into the house. >> that night wasn't just getting you out of the car. that whole night sounds like a terror every minute. >> there was another 10 or 12 hours from the first floor to the second floor to the roof. >> he told me, there's a chance we're going to die tonight. i said, where did you get the number from? i tried to reassure himself and myself at the same time. we opened the door and saw the water up the staircase. 13 steps and 11 were underwater already. a few more steps and the house won't hold the water and something will happen. luckily -- i wouldn't call it luck. i don't know what it was. it just stopped. it stopped coming up the stairs. we could breathe again, you know. we could breathe again. >> i was going to ask you,
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marge, what do you think about your boys? >> i think they're pretty strong and brave. >> we were on the phone with them joie. we were on the phone with them all night, and pretty much giving them a play-by-play of the water rising and what happens disappearing, which was probably what did that and made them more nervous. i just wanted to keep talking to somebody. >> i made about 17 calls to 911, and they kept tell me they were on the way.
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>> i know looking at anthony's documentary that one of the things that they were thinking about after saving his brother's life, how can i save mom and dad's things. you got some boys there. >> yeah. we got dad's guitars and the laptops and their papers. the only thing i didn't get was dry clothes. when i got upstairs and my sister is a size zero. >> so many families along your community on the shore lost so much. >> i think we all helped each other. we understand what each of us went through. >> our neighbors when i watched the house on the side of the street over from us, and it -- we were next. when those houses come down, we just looked at each other. our eyes -- we just looked at
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each other and pleaded with each other with our eyes. please let this not be the last night. that's what we needed to say to other people. we didn't want to go out like that. that would have been a bad thing. there's a lot of families in the neighborhoods that have been affected, the houses and people were just -- i mean, all over the place. i've heard stories and seen videos of families rushing to the attic when the water came up to the attic and they were in the water in the attic, you know. there's a lot of stories out here. ours is just one of them. >> it was a big house, a two-story and a lot of rooms. it filled up like an empty bottle. it filled up with the water. it was amazing. unbelievable. the worst part was when they took the house down. >> when you watched -- did you watch them take it down? >> yeah. we had a lot of support, but it still doesn't help. a lot of people came. >> a lot of memories here. >> i just want to see it go back
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up again. that's what i want to see. >> michael, talk to me. you're the dad and patriarch in this. what do you want to see go up on that lot? >> i'd like to see a nice house razed up. whatever it has to be, 14 feet, and i'd like to come home. this is our home. >> it's still your home. i sense that so strongly. there will people that would say maybe you need to move somewhere else, maybe move inland or to the mountains or something. >> no, it's not the same. we move, and it's not the same. you have to come home. we have to be together. >> joie, you need to understand we've been through a lot in our lives, like a lot of other families. we've always been there for each
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other. nobody has ever let anybody go. mom and dad have been there for each one of us children and each other. as time goes by, things change and everything changes, but we're still the same. the storm didn't take us, you know. it may have taken what we had, but it sure as heck didn't take us from each other. >> certainly didn't do that. you guys are a terrific family. thank you so much for spending time with us. >> you're welcome. >> thank you. >> thank you for taking the time. >> the gattis of staten island, you know they'll be back. ahead this week on "america tonight," it is destined to be bigger than mount rushmore. a vision in south dakota more than 60 years in the making. >> he was determined that it was going to be completed, no question about it. and i don't think he realized when he started how long it was going to take or how much work it was going to be. >> they're trying to do this
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their way, and i admire that. but if they're going to do it their way, it's not going to done quickly. >> if it takes another 100 years, so be it. the fact they continue to move forward is very impressive. >> the monumental project to elevate crazy horse. meet the people helping to fulfill one man's dream. still to come here tonight, long, ice lanted and in international exile. the company called burma is changin changing, but for some sure-footed natives that means a very uncertain future. we'll explain, next. >> this is your outlet for those conversations. >> post, upload and interact. >> every night share undiscovered stories.
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it is a tradition that dates back thousands of years.
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elephants in myanmar used in the lumbar trade. with the government banning timber exports, the future of these elephants is uncertain. >> reporter: he was originally caught from the wild and trained. now his handlers see him as strong and obedient. ideal qualities for a timber elephant. >> translator: some of the elephants are nice, but others are wild. >> myanmar has more captive elephants than any other countries. more than half help the timber enterprise. others in private hands. the times are changing fast. from april 2014 logging exports will be banned, but while that may be good for the forests, the
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elephants and their handlers face an uncertain future. >> translator: the handler might be worried. even the government offices are worried. when logging he can traction is reduced and it'sen economical, they'll be eliminated. >> reporter: private owners who has 20 elephants are in a dilemma. >> translator: we are in a situation where we have to sell our elephants. if we don't get any help, we have no choice. we will just release them into the jungle. >> reporter: like in other countries, the elephants could be trafficked, sold, exploited and abused. in the wild they could clash with farmers. the forest has fallen below 30%, and elephants are left with ashrinking habitat. they're concerned about their fate. >> the government won't do everything. those associated with the
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elegant and close to the elephant in the jungle, they are also. >> reporter: the big question is whether elephants will remain relevant orel gated to tourist spectacles like these white elephants. they're considered awe suspicious in buddhism because buddha's mother dreamt of a white elephant before he was born. also like here in myanmar they've been reduced to curiosities. myanmar's elephants face a turning point. they have survived wars and dictatorships. now they must survive democracy and a free market. ahead on "america tonight," the fiery layers of indian dance. their moves take decades to master, and we'll meet a revered pair of role models. super storm sandy and the effects it still has on americans. >> we do not wanna let sandy dictate our lives.,
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and we never will... >> surviving sandy, one year later... tomorrow 7 am - easten on al jazeera america >> the most important money stories of the day might affect
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it is one of the oldest
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dance forms in the world with some of the oldest performers involved as well. the fall festival of indian arts brought classical dance from the temples of india to the shakespeare theater in washington, d.c. sheila macvicar sat down with two performers where love and dance are truly intertwined. >> reporter: from the lines of a movie and the stunning performance of miss america 2014. the image of indian dance that most of us have is of young women energetically dancing. when people arrived at the shakespeare theater in washington, d.c. recently, they hoped to see some of indian most sought after performers. they probably weren't expecting 70-year-olds. auf been dancing for how many
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years? >> almost 60 years. >> you've been together that long? >> one year senior to him. >> 61 years? >> yes. i started in 1952. ♪ >> reporter: they're performers in the 10th annual fall festival of indian art. >> it's a common indian dance theme with older dancers. we've had five nights of the festival, and the youngest dancer was about his mid-30s, but everyone else is over 60. >> reporter: in sharp contrast to the short careers and early retirements of ballet dancers, in indian classical dance age only brings more reverence. >> as you mature, it brings a
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different quality to a dancer. the expressive part becomes very much more important and the experience in life, the more you experience life it brings more maturity to your expression on stage. >> reporter: she's often called the ba rich kov of indian dance. she's an acclaimed dancer. she began dancing at age 4. that was nearly 60 years ago. >> you don't have to finish when you're 30. you only start with wh-- when you're 45 anyway. you're very much with the gravity. we work with the force of the gravity, and we stamp out the concept of rhythm. it's very, very strong. and enunciating the symbols through tapping of the feet.
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>> what special about the indian dance is the facial expressions and codified hand gestures. >> as the body becomes frail -- >> community with your facial expressions. not like crying or anger. or the tiger. everything we can think and do with our eyes. so you don't have 90 or 95 and then you use your eyes and expression to move it. you can communicate by sitting with the people you enjoy. >> reporter: that's not the only reason older performers find so much success in classical indian dance.
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>> you to know the music and rhythm and sand script and five or six different languages. you have to be able to interpret it and you've improvization on stage. it's almost like a jazz musician. we spend years learning the skills so that when you are in your 50s and 60s, you finally master it because it takes so long to get there. >> the partners in dance and life have collaborated with musicians and choreographers of as diverse as the ohio ballet company, there's one piece they've performed throughout their long careers. the love story of rada and crishna. show me the most important part of the communication you show the audience tonight. >> the expressions of what is love. >> show me.
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>> sure. she's very annoyed because she's uncomfortable. ♪ >> she even says get out. out you go, i don't need you anymore. you've been a cheat. y i don't need your sweet talk. >> she says please open your mouth, won't you? turn your face, and give me a small kiss. won't you do that? your anger is gone. yes, okay, then let's go with it together like that. >> that's wonderful.
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that's fantastic. they have a life all of their own. >> even if i do the story every day, every day, i still feel fresh every time i go on stage. >> they met while studying with the same teachers, dance is far more than their livelihood, it's life itself. >> we performed together and learned together and then we decided to marry. so it's been like really part of growing. i just didn't know anything other than dancing. that was like my breathing. >> retirement? their fans won't let them. >> well, we wanted to actually retire, but then the musicians said, no, we want to see you. and that was sheila macvicar
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reporti reporting, and that's it for us here on "america tonight." please remember if you'd like to comment on any stories you've seen tonight, logon to our website, there you'll meet our team and get sneak previews on stories we're working on and tell us what you want to see. please join the conversation with us on twitter or at our facebook page. good night, and we'll have more of "america tonight" tomorrow. ...
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good evening, everyone. welcome to al jazeera america. i am john seigenthaler in new york. here are the top stories. president obama says his administration is reviewing the nsa policy on spying, after weeks of protests from the european nations about ease droving on world leaders. a european delegation is in washington this week talking about spying reports with u.s. government officials. 26 young men will soon receive a payout totalling $60 million from penn state university. the school is giving this settlement to victims abused by jerry sandusky a little more after
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